Freedom Discussions

Who wants equality if it means equal poverty?

It doesn’t matter that the gap between rich and poor is growing. What matters is that you can go from one to the other

by Antonio Senior, Times

My heart, normally a steely organ, twitched with compassion this week at the terrible news that inequality in Britain is at its highest since the Second World War.

My sympathy was not for all those poor victims of inequality, forced to stand by as the evil rich trough truffles and burn fivers. No. My heart went out to all those employed by the equality industry.

Just imagine the horror. They have spent more than a decade trying to “mainstream equality” (a phrase I have borrowed from the website of the Improvement and Development Agency, where it sits proudly next to my second favourite — the Equality Framework Evidence Collection Tool, or “ef:ect”). All that time, all those jobs, all those lovely new acronyms filled with pointless punctuation marks. Then Harriet Harman made the mistake of commissioning a report from researchers at the London School of Economics. It all turns out to have been a colossal waste of time and money.

Britain remains a hugely unequal society. It bulges with billionaires, who squat atop the rest of us, laughing as we faff about paying tax bills and getting by. But two things utterly confuse me. Why is this inequality inherently bad, and what does an equal society look like?

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